Temperament and Self-Leadership


Adapted from Dario Nardi, Multiple Intelligences and Personality Type: Tools and Strategies for Developing Human Potential (Telos Publications, 2001) *Used with permission

Awareness with Purpose

A conscious systems mode gives us versatility in learning. What we perceive from one perspective can be applied in another. We can experiment to discover which states produce the best outcomes in a given area for us. And in our imagination, we can review the past or envision the future or try out novel combinations to produce what is fun or ingenious. Even when matters seem to be getting very complex, going to a systems mode can lighten and ease the load of juggling the many considerations and connections asked of us so we can make "intelligent" choices and changes.

Building Rapport

One way to think of rapport is having an awareness of others' language and style and adapting to them so others feel at ease with us. Rapport can also mean two people building a common language together. People come from different points of view, and each perspective contributes different kinds of information and may be more or less appropriate at different times for different tasks. We can shift several ways. We can shift our perspective literally from one to another. Or we can shift in terms of being open to evaluating people's behavior differently, with a new specific understanding of how we and someone else are different in a situation. Or we can shift the language we use to describe our experiences, using phrases like "stepping back and seeing myself" or "stepping into your shoes, I suddenly feel...." Or we can share this model and introduce to the other person more variety in his or her point of view.



Modeling New Skills

One way to think of modeling is acting as a positive role model for others. Modeling can also mean using someone else as an example to learn from. While you may eventually be able to experience all three points of view in thinking about your past, present, and future, we clearly have natural defaults, or preferences. No one has everything immediately available to him or her. Yet we now have a tangible tool-we're not just shifting perspective as an intellectual exercise. Usually, the gifts others possess are more than mere skills that can be learned by mimicking the external form step by step. For an exceptional athlete, artist, scientist, orator, novelist, entrepreneur, and many others, actions, words, or ideas are accompanied by and convey a feeling. The four points of view are a map we can follow for developing within ourselves and others some of the flavor of others' gifts as well as enriching our own existing talents.

Ensuring Ethics

One way to think of ethics is being aware of our values and our values about values. Ethics can also mean negotiating with others with different values. One point of view is not better than another-each is what it is-and people have legitimate reasons why they may not be ready to go to certain places. For example, personal "garbage" may be stored in a certain point of view, such as wrenching past experiences, ongoing negative relationships, or feelings of guilt or shame or poor self-image about one's behavior. Or a person may find himself or herself "frozen"-stuck in one place and in need of concrete tools, new models, or new positive experiences to fly free of binding chains. Similarly, the points of view do not exist in isolation-they exist in relation to core needs and values, themes in a person's life, and so on. What is the ultimate purpose of shifting our mental perspectives? We are unlocking who we are and setting aside limitations, instead of trying to be someone else or "fixing" others.

Discovering New Outcomes

A shift in point of view may provide you with a new way to ensure a currently desired outcome. Even more powerful, it may provide you with new insight and potential outcomes that you may not have considered or even imagined before or a shifting of the whole self. Ideally, we want to continually approach each of the three above (rapport, modeling, and ethics) in a way that is dynamic, creative, life-giving, and responsible. A meta position allows you free access to tools in a flexible, accurate, and purposeful way. And you thought your outcome was completely up to you!

Shifting Perspective-Personality and Self-Leadership

Each temperament will approach the process of rapport, modeling, ethics, and outcome differently. The chart on the next page organizes typical differences. You may want to consider a situation involving you and someone else and find the similarities and differences, strategies and tools. Use the space below to record your thought


Catalyst™ / Idealists
Self-Leadership Skills

Identify and build rapport in a way
that motivates you and others in
a way that is moral and ethical.

Idealists focus to establish
and maintain rapport

Having an awareness of the other person's deep inner purpose and interacting to develop that potential. Lost if inner purpose is lost or if trying to force potential that is wrong for them.

Questions to ask Idealists
about morals and ethics

Are choices congruent with own and others' values and with identity? Honest with self and others? Are values being forced or projected onto others? Are ideals helpful and perceptions accurate?

Idealist considerations for
modeling after others

Is the other person valued? Gets to know their values, and tries them on. Does it fit well with own values? Checks their comfort level and communicates values beforehand.

Gauging when Idealist has
achieved desired outcome

Able to live with self and others in paradox without contradiction, disharmony, or loss of personal identity.

Stabilizer™ / Guardians
Self-Leadership Skills

Assure lasting results by
continually maintaining and passing
on or sharing what you've learned.

Guardians focus to establish
and maintain rapport

Initiating and following the social structure appropriate to the situation and roles of the people involved. Lost if social structure is lost or if trying to fill the wrong role for them.

Questions to ask Guardians
about morals and ethics

Following own declared standards? Is behavior role appropriate? Is responsibility shared? Are group norms fair? From whom did you learn how to interpret or deal with the current situation?

Guardian considerations for
modeling after others

Is the other person an appropriate role model? Watches the steps and listens to instructions. Does an event go as planned? Checks to ensure the behavior is sanctioned in the group.

Gauging when Guardian has achieved desired outcome
Fulfilling multiple roles and responsibilities without competition, controlling others, or taking on too much.

Theorist™ / Rationals
Self-Leadership Skills

Observe and model excellence
in others, to improve your skills
and abilities and to behave
more intelligently.

Rationals focus to establish
and maintain rapport

Factoring how others fit in the overall system or big picture and checking that against the goal. Lost if perspective of system is lost or if trying to attain the wrong goals for them.

Questions to ask Rationals
about morals and ethics

Do theory and real world match? How is information being interpreted? Try another lens to see through. Re-examine data and assumptions. Do ethical principles exist?

Rational considerations for
modeling new skills

What new ability will be needed? Looks for a theory or strategy to learn a person's ability. Do tests of it work? Build a strategy to learn. Ensure vision of change matches.

Gauging when Rational has
achieved desired outcome

Multiple models to understand the world without dissonance, distance, or trying to be competent in everything.

Improviser™ / Artisans
Self-Leadership Skills

Intelligence is skill sets, body and
brain, tools, other people and environment. Use these to succeed
and make your impact.

Artisans focus to establish
and maintain rapport

Being attentive to people's motives in a situation and feeding back what the person wants to hear. Lost if can't read others' motives or if trying to feed back to a person what's wrong for them.

Questions to ask Artisans
about morals and ethics

Do actions have a positive effect on self and others? Is there respect for others' style and results? Is the solution or behavior causing more problems or solving them?

Artisan considerations for
modeling new skills

What kind of impact is wanted? Get the tools, environment, tangible resources, skills, style, and help of impactful person. Then is it working out? Have a way to gauge success.

Gauging when Artisan has
achieved desired outcome

Able to have rich impact in multiple spheres of life without uniformity, boredom, or harm to self and others.


Find out more about Dario Nardi, PhD



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